Swan Valley winemakers are looking forward to a memorable vintage this year as the picking of the first grapes began yesterday.
Well-timed spring and early summer rains and recent humidity have saved their vines from the fate of many in the Eastern States, which have suffered heat stress, sunburn and desiccation.
The pressers and crushers at many of the valley's wineries will be cranked up this week as production of the 2013 vintage begins.
Fourth-generation winemaker Anthony Yurisich, who owns Olive Farm Wines, was helped by his father Ian yesterday as he began harvest at his Millendon vineyard.
Mr Yurisich, who joked that his 14-month-old son Harrison would be recruited to the picking team as soon as he was old enough, said the fruit was in great condition and 2013 looked like being a good year.
Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers Association president John Griffiths, who owns Faber Vineyard, said all signs pointed to an excellent vintage.
He said the absence of Perth's usual hot easterly winds had helped most vines remain healthy.
"This year there's plenty of flavour in the grapes, good crops, a lot of confidence and a lot to look forward to," Mr Griffiths said.
He said the Swan Valley was slowly losing its old-fashioned reputation as people discovered its new wineries, new wine styles and dynamic young winemakers.Swan Valley wineries will open to the public from March 15 to 17 for the second A Vintage Weekend in the Swan Valley.
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